Reduced glucocorticoid receptor expression predicts bladder tumor recurrence and progression

Hitoshi Ishiguro, Takashi Kawahara, Yichun Zheng, George J. Netto, Hiroshi Miyamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess the levels of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in bladder tumors because the status and its prognostic value remain largely unknown.

Methods: We immunohistochemically stained for GR in bladder tumor and matched non-neoplastic bladder tissue specimens.

Results: Overall, GR was positive in 129 (87%) of 149 urothelial tumors, which was significantly (P = .026) lower than in non-neoplastic urothelium (90 [96%] of 94). Forty-two (79%) of 53 low-grade tumors vs 45 (47%) of 96 high-grade carcinomas (P < .001) and 61 (73%) of 84 non-muscle-invasive (NMI) tumors vs 26 (40%) of 65 muscle-invasive (MI) carcinomas (P < .001) were moderately to strongly immunoreactive for GR. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests revealed that loss or weak positivity of GR significantly or marginally correlated with recurrence of NMI tumors (P = .025), progression of MI tumors (P = .082), and cancer-specific survival of MI tumors (P = .067). Multivariate analysis identified low GR expression as a strong predictor for recurrence of NMI tumors (P = .034).

Conclusions: GR expression was downregulated in bladder tumors compared with nonneoplastic bladder tumors and in high-grade/MI tumors compared with low-grade/NMI tumors. Decreased expression of GR, as an independent prognosticator, predicted recurrence of NMI tumors. These results support experimental evidence suggesting an inhibitory role of GR signals in bladder cancer outgrowth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder cancer
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Progression
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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